Childbase and Co-operative Childcare in 'best companies' lists

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Two of the country’s largest nursery groups have been honoured in the ‘Sunday Times 100 Best Companies To Work For’ lists for 2014.


Childbase was named 16th in the Sunday Times '100 Best Companies to Work For' list

Childbase Partnership came 16th in the ‘100 Best Companies’ list. The Midcounties Co-operative, which among other busineses runs the 50-strong Co-operative Childcare group of nurseries, took 10th place in the ‘25 Best Big Companies’ list.

Childbase Partnership has been included in the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list for the past five years, reaching a high of eighth place in 2013.

The group also beat almost 900 businesses and organisations this year to win the ‘Best for Wellbeing’ special award.

Childbase, which owns 47 day nurseries and pre-schools across the south of England, with places for 5,917 children, achieved third place for making good use of employee skills, fifth place for job security and sixth place for personal growth.

In addition to a ‘reduced hours/same pay’ deal, reducing the working week from 40 to 37.5 hours while maintaining pay and benefits, the employee-owned Childbase Partnership has introduced a number of ‘wellbeing schemes’ for staff, including free fresh fruit snacks and a monthly nursery budget for exercise classes or pampering treats.

The group entered the Sunday Times competition having already achieved a three-star ‘Extraordinary’ rating from 'workplace engagement specialists' Best Companies, which was achieved by just 108 UK companies this year. The rating rewards companies that have been shown to excel in every area of the workplace, and in particular a commitment to employees.

Childbase Partnership HR director Helen Bass said, ‘People are the cornerstone of our operation so we are enormously proud of this achievement. It is all the more meaningful when you consider the competition from giant retailing and small office-based organisations which have the luxury of creating working environments that are all about employee happiness and well-being.’

In the ‘25 Best Big Companies’ list, the Midcounties Co-operative achieved third place for giving something back to society and the local community, sixth place for wellbeing, and ninth place for providing employees with a fair deal.

It is the fourth consecutive appearance in the list for the group, which operates 50 nurseries nationwide, providing 3,635 places.

Ben Reid, chief executive of The Midcounties Co-operative, said, ‘At a time when the relevance of the co-operative model is being scrutinised, winning this award proves that co-operatives can more than hold their own against large corporate organisations. As an independent society with a turnover of over £1 billion this accolade shows that co-operation is clearly working for Midcounties, proving its success and securing a sustainable future for the business.’

‘To move up three places in the list and to be given special recognition for the community work we undertake reflects our position as a leading modern co-operative.’

A total of 897 businesses took part in the four Sunday Times surveys, with over 240,000 employees asked to provide their opinions on a variety of aspects of their workplace.  

The leading 325 are recognised in four lists; the ‘100 Best Companies’, which features those in the 250-4,999 employee range, the ‘25 Best Big Companies’, with 5,000-plus in the workforce, the ‘100 Best Small Companies’, including those with up to 250 staff members, and the ‘100 Best Not-for-Profit Organisations’.

Rankings are based on responses staff members give regarding topics such as leadership, staff wellbeing, the extent to which the company gives back to society, personal growth opportunities and satisfaction with pay and benefits.

  • The full lists can be viewed at here (NB: subscribers only.)
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